Monday, May 15, 2017

Modi warned Sirisena about mounting international pressure if Tamils’ demands are not addressed quickly

Modi warned Sirisena about mounting international pressure if Tamils’ demands are not addressed quickly
NewsIn.AsiaBy  on 

Colombo, May 14 ( Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has told the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) that he has warned Sri Lankan President Mithripala Sirisena that undue delays in addressing the outstanding issues of the minority Tamils, including the drafting of a suitable constitution to address their political grievances ,will only result in Sri Lanka’s coming under international scrutiny and pressure.

Modi said this in a 15 minute meeting with a TNA delegation led by the Leader of the Opposition in the Sri Lankan Parliament, R.Sampanthan. It was not a scheduled meeting but was arranged at the last moment just before Modi took the flight back home on May 12.
Sampanthan briefed Modi about the outstanding issues such as the release of lands  by the military and delays in the constitution making process. Modi was told that there are divisions among the government’s coalition partners on key issues like the abolition of the Executive Presidency. These issues are delaying the drafting of the new constitution and making the Tamils wonder if  a new  constitution will see the light of day at all.
To this Modi said that he had raised  these issues with Prime Minister Wickremesinghe when the latter visited New Delhi last ,and had mentioned them to the President at the dinner hosted by the latter on May 11.
Modi said that it is important for the TNA itself to be united. India on its part will take up the Tamils’ issues with the Sri Lankan government even as it aids economic development in Sri Lanka, including the Tamil areas in the North and East.
In the normal course, the Indian Prime Minister would have met the TNA before meeting the President. But this time, he did not,because the schedule was very tight given the short stay in the island.
He also did not want to use the visit for political discussions with various parties as it was primarily meant to be linked to a religious-cultural event – the International Vesak Day observances.
Modi also wanted to focus this time on reinforcing links with the Tamils of Indian Origin. He formally opened a hospital for them at Dikoya and addressed a public meeting  at the Norwood estate in the tea plantation district of Nuwara Eliya.
(The featured image at the top shows, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with  Tamil National Alliance leader R.Sampanthan)